NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

BIOGRAPHICAL MKMOIRS

BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR
OE

THOMAS ALVA EDISON
1847-1931
BY

ARTHUR E. KENNELLY

PRESENTED TO THE ACADEMY AT THE AUTUMN MEETING, 1932

the younger member of the Edison family found himself on the 287 . to the end of his life. tall and of strong physique. to 102. was of Scotch-English origin and settled in New England prior to 1700. who fought on the American side in the Revolutionary war. Ohio. was born at Milan. who was a young man of 25 when the war broke out. The Edisons were a vigorous. as a Canadian citizen. Ontario. 1847. the inventor's father. Ontario. about the year 1730. They were all men of endurance and strong physique. sided with the loyalists. close to the northern shore of Lake Erie. Samuel Edison. was fighting as a Captain in Mackenzie's insurgents. to 92. hardy stock. a school teacher at Vienna. brilliant and attractive woman. married Nancy Elliott (1810-1871). Great-grandfather Thomas took an active part against the British Government in the Revolutionary War of 1775-1781 . John Edison. and Samuel Edison. his father (1804-1896). The family on Edison's mother's side. 33 years of age. Thomas Edison. In 1828. In 1837. and there he remained. from Holland. Father Samuel Edison was born at Digby. where he lived to an age of over 100 years. and who finally settled at Vienna. while grandfather John Edison. She was a clever. the Elliotts. on February n t h . the daughter of a Baptist clergyman and granddaughter of Captain Ebenezer Elliott of Scotch ancestry. When the great exodus occurred in 1783. Nova Scotia. According to family records. his grandfather (1750-1852). John Edison was among them. Samuel Edison. probably the greatest inventor that America has produced. The inventor's great-grandfather. and many thousands of loyalists embarked for Canada. For the second time. when political disturbance in Ontario culminated in rebellion against the British government. John finally settled at Vienna. lived to be 104 years old. in 1804.THOMAS ALVA EDISON Birth and Parentage Thomas Alva Edison. the paternal ancestor of the Edisons landed in New Jersey.

He used to express surprise that the grown-up people round him were unable to answer his numerous questions. he applied for and secured a concession from the Grand Trunk Railroad to sell newspapers on the trains between Port Huron and Detroit (a distance of 100 . but that of the two eldest was of an artistic and literary character. He spent three months at the Port Huron public school. with the aid of another lad. Edison never accepted a text-book statement as final. the last named on February n t h . Under her guidance he became proficient in reading and writing. and understood him. Arithmetic he never cared for. He soon revealed a great thirst for experimenting. They finally settled at Milan. through dangerous country. to the southern shore of Lake Erie. trying out their properties—to see if what the book said was true. he does not appear to have made a success. and his spare time in the family cellar.NATIONAL ACADEMY BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS VOL. in a little horse wagon. When the boy was eleven years old. 1847. As a scholar. who had been a teacher. and especially for chemical experimenting. His mind was keen enough. Michigan. he commenced his first venture in business. The boy was good-natured and courageous. All three children showed ability. but did not follow the grooves of school learning. Here three children were born: William Pitt. Tannie. Ohio. that being all the formal schooling he ever had. He spent his pocket money on inexpensive chemicals. by taking family garden produce to market in Port Huron. Ohio. XV side of a lost cause. but little Thomas seems to have had curiosity insatiable. Samuel Edison had to make his escape with his wife. At twelve years of age. until it had been tried out. attended to his education herself. Clair River which separated Michigan from Ontario. His mother. and the subsequently famous Thomas Alva. Most boys are well endowed with curiosity. his family removed from Milan. to Port Huron. Boyhood (1854-1868) When young Edison was seven years old. through which town the Grand Trunk Railroad had laid its tracks along the St. Throughout his life.

each operated by a boy companion. but it certainly did not have that effect upon Edison. "The Weekly Herald". when a friendly trainman tried to help him climb on a baggage car. Running over a rough piece of track. kindly and serene. Later he transferred part of his stock of chemicals from the family cellar to the baggage car of the train on which he worked. all the stock of the laboratory and printing press was thrown out on the station platform. in a train-boy's cap. but also the first railway printing press. It was in 1862. and so organized not only the first railway chemical laboratory. the injury to his hearing. carrying regularly an eighteen-hour workday. amounted to 800 copies. About this time. A man of lesser calibre might well have become morose by this infirmity. This started a fire in the car that took all the efforts of Edison and the train crew to subdue. that may have been caused by the cuffing. who knew him as "Al". plucky lad. the baggage car. when Edison was fifteen years old. The conductor was so angered that he soundly boxed young Thomas' ears. but also extended it. The slight deafness which came on after these events became permanent and gradually increased in later years. and opening two small stores in Port Huron. at about fourteen years of age. sunny. In this way he was able to gain more pocket money for chemicals and experiments. full of keen interest in the world. he purchased in Detroit a small hand printing press. jolted to the floor a stick of phosphorus. He persuaded the train conductor to let him mount this in the baggage car. by pulling on his ears. He was very popular with the trainmen. collecting the news. printing and selling the sheets. or 62 miles). 2?A) . setting. all himself. shows a cheery. to his great distress. His disposition remained throughout life. with forms and type.THOMAS AIA'A EDISON KENNELVV km. The circulation of this single sheet. composing. A photograph of little Al. When the train stopped. was intensified later. In Edison's opinion. He not only kept up this newsboy work on the trains. by employing other boys as assistants on other trains. that an accident occurred which left him with a permanent deafness in both ears. with its Edison corner laboratory.

with a view to helping him secure. He became noted as a rapid and accurate operator. a position as railway telegraphist. During that time. invented and perfected the phonograph. XV In fact. together with practice at odd hours elsewhere. one front wheel of the car struck his heel. but no serious injury had been incurred. between train times. Their faces and hands were cut.NATIONAL ACADEMY BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS VOL. Young Edison on the platform saw the danger. through a number of cities in the middle west. where freight cars were shifted. at considerable speed. right in the way of the oncoming box car. The train on which he was newsboy was at Mount Clemens Junction. even among intensely noisy surroundings. It was a remarkable vindication against fate. when this partially deaf man later discovered. which afterwards always characterized his penmanship. For the next six years. The station agent's little son. On the following day. the two-year-old Jimmie Mackenzie. their imaginative appeal. he attained proficiency at the key. he used to claim that his deafness was an asset. He adopted for this work a clear. 290 . As it was. he jumped on the track and reached the child just in time to haul him clear. and the south as far as New Orleans. Edison followed the career of a telegraphist. he wandered. fast and upright style of handwriting. an incident occurred which changed the direction of young Edison's career. Faraday's "Electrical Researches" particularly interested him. on the stone ballasting. 1862. and in a few months. in the service of the Western Union Telegraph Company. owing to their close dependence upon experiment. taking lessons three times a week. Edison accepted. since it permitted him to concentrate his thoughts upon any desired object of study. Mackenzie offered to teach the lad Morse telegraphy. In August. A box car was being shunted. later on. He spent all his available leisure in experiment and study. and threw him with the child to the side of the track. frequently being assigned to press work on night duty. had strayed to play on this side track. to a side track. Casting aside cap and bundles.

in the course of his journalistic daily work. 291 . Entrance to Edison's Career as an Inventor (1868-1876) In October. he realized the nature of the derangement and volunteered to correct it. as a specialist. he applied for his first American patent—a vote recorder. before the appropriate committee of Congress. Unsuccessful but undismayed. and the market ratio of gold bullion to government notes was constantly shifting in the "Gold Room" of the Wall Street Exchange. He commenced with an improved telegraphic "stock ticker. a large fund of general information.THOMAS ALVA EDISON and their freedom from mathematical symbolism. when Edison was 21 years old. and with his retentive memory. A transmitting instrument. after much effort. Edison was standing near the transmitter. when it became suddenly deranged by an internal accident. He also acquired. issued the fluctuating gold quotations over wires to brokers' offices in the vicinity. Edison succeeded. About this time he gave up the career of a telegraphist. which. In the ensuing tumult. and devoted himself entirely to invention. and brought him much renown. which he proceeded to improve and develop with new inventions. he had carefully examined. The new Edison Stock Ticker was a great advance in many respects over the earlier device. operated from a keyboard in the Gold Room. This led to his being made manager of the system. and he was able to restore normal operation very speedily. the nation was off the gold standard. This was a device which enabled the affirmative and negative votes of a seated voting assembly to be swiftly recorded and automatically totaled at the chairman's desk. His offer was accepted. when he went to New York. 1868. in demonstrating the invention at Washington. not of Edison's design. thus throwing out of action all the indicators in the connected brokers' offices. On the third morning after his arrival in New York. only to find that there was no demand for a mechanism of that kind. each office having a dial-indicating receiver." In 1869. Edison returned to his little workshop in Boston. as a result of the recent civil war.

Marion E. a night force also.. He served as foreman for both gangs. Here he developed a number of telegraph inventions. In 1871. for invention and manufacture. Thomas A. when gold went to a high premium. from personal observation of the gold-quotation system in New York City. 1869. Edison married Mary G. Prices rose so rapidly that his system had difficulty in keeping up with the market. and when orders came in heavily. almost all in electric telegraphy. XV Edison used to describe. He was constantly at work. which meant living on the premises and taking short periods of sleep at odd intervals during the twenty-four hours. and the high-speed automatic telegraph. in particular. where he could concentrate on invention. to Menlo Park. It was characteristic of him. New Jersey. 80 Broadway. the sensational events of the financial panic on Black Friday. even for his energetic temperament. Menlo Park Period (1876-1884) Edison moved his laboratory from Newark in 1876. the quadruplex for sending and receiving four messages simultaneously over a single wire—two in each direction—. nor even felt any impulse to speculate. This was the year of the Centennial 292 .. During the Newark period (1870-1876) he took out nearly 120 American patents. he entered into the first recorded American firm of Consulting Electrical Engineers. he never speculated himself. Edison opened machine shops at Newark. Edison. that while he was for a number of months an operating personage in a continual stream of speculation. and William L.. After the successful sale of some of his inventions to the Western Union Telegraph Company. either in the office or machine shop. A few days after Black Friday. a small village on the Pennsylvania Railroad between Rahway and Metuchen. He kept 50 workmen busy. by whom he had three children. New Jersey. testing or improving. Edison and Company. since he found the combination of invention and manufacture too strenuous.NATIONAL ACADEMY BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS VOL. under the title of Pope. September 24th. New Jersey. Stillwell. New York.

a new ingenious non-magnetic type of telephone receiver. The original Bell telephone apparatus did not have a satisfactory transmitter.THOMAS ALVA EDISON KENNKLLY Exhibition at Philadelphia. and the problem therefore was to substitute a number of small electric lamps for a single arc lamp. but it was too powerful for interior use. originally discovered by Davy in 1809. or end-to-end connection. Edison discovered and developed the first stages of his phonograph or talking machine. like the rungs of a ladder. In 1877. and not "in series". It was in his experimenting with the carbon transmitter. Edison realized that a commercial incandescent lighting system would require its lamps to be connected "in parallel". This required that each lamp 293 . which spread out from Menlo Park until it became adopted by telephonists all over the world. he was reluctantly compelled to set this instrument aside for a time. however. In 1878 he took up the inventive problem of "subdivision of the electric light". At that time the arc light. but no successful result had been achieved. which was justly regarded as a great wonder at that time. had been developed and had come into commercial use for the illumination of halls and streets. He also invented about this time. that Edison coined the now well-known call word "Hello". since he was prevented from using the Bell electromagnetic receiver. and Edison. in Menlo Park. after much experimental labor at Menlo Park. Owing to the pressure of other inventions. produced a carbon-button transmitter that virtually converted the telephone from an experimental to a commercially available apparatus. A number of inventors had already experimented with glow lamps or incandescent lamps. had certain advantages in special cases. between the main conductors. but did not come into extensive telephone use. at which the new Bell telephone was first shown to the public. and leave its further development to later years. and produced very loud sounds. It operated on the principle of electrolytically varied friction between two conducting surfaces in rubbing contact. as had been the leading idea. called the electromotograph receiver. This instrument.

a condition that greatly increased the difficulties of the problem. etc. September 4th. with underground conductors. main conductors. The Pearl Street Station turned on its current to the lamps in the district. had to be developed for coupling directly to the dynamo shafts. success was gradually reached. freedom from combustion products. After a number of small incandescent-lighting plants had been successfully set in operation. with sealed-in platinum-wire leads.NATIONAL ACADEMY BIOGRAPHICAI. 1879. In all of this work. Edison realized that these belts could not be used in permanent reliable central stations. factories for making operating instruments. A new industry had then to be created from the Menlo Park laboratory results. Edison incan294 . in succession. These were at first driven by leather belts from the standard lowspeed steam engines of that period. at 257 Pearl Street. After a vast number of failures. 1882. high-resistance filament. there was none in existence for operating incandescent lamps in parallel... About the same period. XV should have a long. any one of which could have destroyed the project. Edison was his own chief engineer. Although domestic gas lighting was then generally used. Such dynamos had to be designed and built. a dynamo factory. fluctuated appreciably when used for incandescent lighting service. It was successful from the first. a large number of small difficulties. After that. it was decided to open a central incandescent station in the center of the down-town business district of New York City. thin. although satisfactorily steady when driving factory machinery. This lamp. The early lamps were all operated by voltaic batteries. mounted in a highly evacuated glass globe. so new types of high-speed engines. It came through overcoming. coolness. all had to be set up and standardized. A lamp factory. and reduced fire hazard. the speed of which. glowed for 45 hours before breaking. in October. and although there were dynamos for operating arc lamps. with heavier fly-wheels. MEMOIRS VOI. his first partially successful lamp had a filament of carbonized cotton thread. the new incandescent lamps won popularity through their steadiness. the system gradually expanding over the whole of New York City. testing instruments.

. There were several standard characteristics of the Edison system worked out at Menlo Park.. a large saving was made in the total weight and cost of the copper conducting system. The first Edison motors were operated at Menlo Park in 1880. and rapidly developed on the Edison three-wire systems. A second standard was an inter-connected system of underground iron pipes. which exclusively supplied the lamps. taking power from constantvoltage mains. carrying within the insulated copper conductors which supplied the lamps. that have remained but little changed to this day. yet the total amount of copper in the system was again reduced to about one-third. and in Sprague electric-railway systems. was the invention of the "three-wire-system". which he early set at or near n o volts. he could give but little attention to the new discoveries and inventions which he was constantly making. very soon after the starting of the Pearl Street Station. One of these was the lamp voltage. Edison foresaw that the successful introduction of the incandescent lamp into factories and homes would immediately admit the use of the electric motor for operating machinery and household power devices. e.The fourth. 29s . Edison realized that all these wires must go underground in large cities. By this means. and he faced the mechanical and electrical difficulties of that procedure. and feeders. could not be produced until the incandescent lamp led the way. mains. by which. although the conductors in the system were increased throughout from two to three. The demands of the electric light and power industry on Edison's time were so great that during his stay at the Menlo Park laboratory. but the constant-speed self-regulating motor. because all the conductors could be considerably reduced in size.THOMAS ALVA EDISON KE descent-lighting stations and systems began to be developed all over the world. A few motors had already been employed on constant-current series-arc circuits. which were initially very great. The third characteristic was the invention in 1880 of an important division of the underground conductors into two classes: i. which exclusively supplied the mains.

or even an electric trembling bell-. Their three children are Madeleine. and he gave up his home there soon afterwards. consisting of graphite pencil points. Llewellyn Park. with one terminal connected to water-pipe ground. 296 . Edison built a commodious laboratory in West Orange. De Forest and others developed this into the thermionic tube. in August. was a device for generating and detecting high-frequency electric waves. now so widely used. and which later gave rise to modern radio telegraphy. that Edison thought they might be some new phenomena. after his wife's death at Menlo Park.. or in some adjacent building. and there they lived for the rest of his life. In later years. he married Miss Mina Miller of Akron. West Orange. Ohio. and also produced a deposit on the inner surface of the glass bulb. Llewellyn Park Period (1887-1931) Edison moved his laboratory from Menlo Park to New York City. and commenced work there in October. They made their home at Glenmont. When one electrode was connected to ground.NATIONAL ACADEMY BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS VOL. The receiver was a small wooden dark box. in various countries. In 1886. i. in which the opposed electrodes. 1884. to link Edison's experiments of 1875 with electromagnetic waves and radio communication. New Jersey. which he made at Newark in 1875. close to Llewellvn Park. Another discovery. 1887. e. It required long researches of later years. XV One of these discoveries was in 1883—the "'Edison effect" . a discharge phenomenon that occurred in the lamps. whereby a gaseous discharge passed from the glowing filament to the positive filament clamp. and the other to any short open wire. New Jersey. when being exhausted. small sparks could be seen to pass between the minutely separated carbon points in the dark box. Edison's generator was a vibrating-contact induction coil. Fleming. could be brought into adjustable close proximity. if the latter was in the same building as the generator. These results were so different from those ordinarily associated with electrical circuits. such as Hertz investigated in 1889. which he called "Etheric force". Charles and Theodore.

especially before his fiftieth year. he developed his moving picture camera until he obtained some satisfactory reels of sporting contests. with only brief pauses for meals. and made a long series of inventions. the moving-picture camera. because he never spared himself. the magnetic ore separator. He was tall. but leonine in repose. and he did not spare them. When working regularly at a less feverish pace. and powerfully built. courage and kindliness. He was a terrific worker. He would often work at his laboratory or factory for twenty hours at a stretch. He ordinarily carried about in his pocket a standard small-sized yellow-page notebook that might last a week. For instance. Personality The outstanding qualities with which Edison impressed those who met him. he secured recreation from change of work. he loved to invent some new or better thing than the thing he saw. Above all things. It was not that he actually dismissed assistants who did not work hard. were energy. as well as many war inventions for the United States Government. with a large head and a countenance open and engaging.THOMAS ALVA EDISON KEN NELLY At Orange. the telescribe. usually with some small illustrative sketch or sketches. concentrating on one study at a time. Sundays and holidays. When engaged on some difficult problem like the incandescent lamp. he and his staff worked together days. He would stop 297 . His assistants worked in the same way. various improvements in manufacturing concrete and other chemical products. together with the date and subject. The list of these Orange laboratory inventions is so long that it cannot be attempted here. The moving picture industry of today acknowledges its start at the Orange laboratory. Edison perfected the phonograph. On the successive pages of this he would write down inventive ideas as they occurred to him. frankness. He was able to infuse them with his own enthusiasm. nights. synthetic rubber. until they became unmindful of time. including the alkaline storage battery. it was the easy-going assistant who dismissed himself and disappeared from the picture.

He would attempt nothing until he had a clear comprehension of the existing state of the art. The others he would probably distribute among his assistants to try out. instead of by the word. but otherwise by reading up the literature of the art. His memory for facts was most retentive. and suggested methods of surmounting them. Moreover. but fertility of imagination ran through them all. His method of attacking an inventive problem of major importance was always the same. He was ever incredulous about any invention that worked out successfully on the first trial. but these were only for the residual inventions that he selected as probably workable and economically capable of self support.NATIONAL ACADEMY BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS VOL. Many of his first-sketch inventions proved to be impracticable. so that he could run through reports and pamphlets at great speed. or they might differ greatly. and always wanted to know what was the outstanding difficulty to be overcome. As a confirmed optimist. and he did not expect more than a small percentage to survive laboratory tests. depending much upon his surroundings during that period. he might make twenty such rough designs. More than one thousand American patents were issued to him during his career. The vast majority never got beyond the notebook or the laboratory stages. One or two of these he would proceed to try out himself. They might be nearly all in the same field. he never doubted that an open path could be found for reaching the desired goal. provided that every possible plan was tried. preferably from watching the latest process. XV in the middle of a meal or conversation. often for commercial reasons. He was unfailing in encouragement and sympathy when difficulties beset an assistant's path. or examining models. He would then lay out in his notebook several plans for simultaneous experimental attack. he never sought to patent any process of which the inventive idea was not his own. and he had acquired a habit of reading ordinary descriptive text by the line. to write out an invention. regardless of established opinion or textbook authority. or immediately on awaking. 298 . In the course of a day.

however. in 1918. however. He possessed a certain charm of manner which endeared him to his associates. he never claimed to be more than an inventor. It was impossible for him to pose or assume airs. there are 100 members and 136 associates. to say "specie". and he 299 . as he said. inclusive). His only detractors have been those who did not know him personally. At the present date (1932). He succeeded finally to his satisfaction. Edison's birthday. He seemed to defy discouragement. In general. With the alertness of his active mind. a voluntary association was formed. direct and kindly. It is generally admitted that he won esteem and goodwill everywhere. As an evidence of the loyalty of Edison's associates to him personally. he tended to take a definite opinion on any proposition that might be presented to him. In temperament he was simple. Edison. so that dissension among them was very exceptional. He would spend weeks at a time on the improvement of the phonograph. The members are "Those persons who were associated with Thomas A. He dreaded to be called upon to make a speech. teaching it. but not without trying a very large number of devices. he showed a remarkable talent for humorous narrative. modest. It would return the word as "spee—ee". The Edison Pioneers meet annually in New York City on Mr. he was shy and retiring. Furthermore. it may be pointed out that.THOMAS ALVA EDISON KENNEELY His patience and tenacity in following up experimental improvements were most remarkable. and give way pleasantly to facts or demonstration. he had the rare gift of securing the mutual good will of his assistants. This memoir has been prepared with the help of the organization. The delicate sybillant associated with the c was difficult for the instrument to render. At public receptions. called the "Edison Pioneers"." Associate members are those who came later (1886-1931. his views proved to be reliable and based upon experience. Although his practical knowledge was extensive in many branches of science. In private life. but he would listen very tolerantly to opposite views. or connected with his work up to and including the year 1885.

Congressional Gold Medal. Philadelphia. 1892. 1928. 1927. 1915. 1915. Albert Medal of the British Society of Arts. Washington. honors came to Edison with increasing rapidity.D. Honors and Awards After his invention of the phonograph in 1877. C . He was of very temperate habits. 1879. Louis Exposition. Officer 1881. 1908. 1920. New York City. Cross of Grand Officer (Count) of the Crown of Italy. Rathenau Gold Medal (Germany). for Electric Pen. University of the State of New York. Chevalier 1879. Commander 1889. The following is a partial list of his medals and decorations: Legion of Honor. D. For Carbon Telephone.NATIONAL ACADEMY BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS—VOL. 1889. Distinguished Service Medal of the United States Navy Department.Sc. To the acquisition of wealth he was indifferent. First Recipient of Edison Medal of American Institute of Electrical Engineers. 1915. American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Medal of the Franklin Institute. 1923. 1904. The following honorary academic degrees were conferred upon him: Ph. for Multiplying Press. Civic Forum Gold Medal. Membership in National Academy of Sciences. His life was a happy one. Princeton. 1878. John Fritz Gold Medal. Medals of Superiority. XV enjoyed listening to a good story. St. D. except in regard to hours of work. 1913. April. 1878. Society of Arts and Sciences Gold Medal. 300 . France. Rumford Gold Medal. Medals of Excellence for Chemical Telephone. 1879. except for the opportunities it brought for more inventions and accomplishments. 1915. Honorable Consulting Engineer. American Institute of the City of New York. 1928.D. Union College. LL. 1916. President of the Naval Consulting Board. 1878.

During the same working period he also had received up to 1910.Q00 I90I TQ02 1903 Ig04 ICK)5 i9o6 1507 I9O3 IQ09 ig I0 IQII 1912 1913 1914 I9 TS 24 17 29 19 45 27 36 35 5 5 0 0 1 12 9 11 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 301 S 4 1 16 4 1 3 6 7 5 5 2 2 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 192S 1926 1927 192S 1091 Total . The individual titles of these applications up to the year 1926 are recorded in the Biography of Dyer.091 American Patents granted by the United States Patent Office to Edison during his career. distributed among 34 foreign countries. 30 18 19 24 12 20 2 3 19 4 6 2 Date executed .THOMAS AL. No. representing over sixty years of inventive activity. Martin and Meadowcroft (Bibliography No. of patents granted 22 12 20 17 l8. 1. 1).VA EDISON Patents The following is a list of 1. They are listed according to the numbers whose applications were executed by him in each successive year between 1868 and 1928. inclusive. of patents granted I 4 7 8 38 25 IS 11 12 20 14 14 60 89 107 64 Date executed 1868 l8 69 1870 1871 1872 1873 l8 74 187s 1876 1877 1878 1879 I88O 1881 1882 1883 No.239 foreign patents.

receiving the news on the battleship "Arkansas" in Chesapeake Bay. On the evening of October 21st. a number of memorial meetings were held in different countries in honor of his life and accomplishments. incandescent lamps. issued by radio a nation-wide commemorative address. 1932. but others are still in operation. Termination The long. New Jersey. being also the fiftieth anniversary of his effective invention of the successful incandescent lamp. motors. His death on Octobei 302 . etc. the Central Station system lights were switched off for one minute over extensive areas of the North American continent—the United States and Canada—as a nation-wide tribute to the great inventor. Edison's death. Edison designed and operated plants for the manufacture of cement. aniline salt and paraphenylenediamine.. June. at the suggestion of President Hoover. industrious and internationally famous career of Edison terminated by his death at 8:24 world time (Greenwich Civil Time) on the 18th of October. pp. following his interment. 1931. in the 85th year of his age at his home in Glenmont. myrbane aniline oil. Thus. A number of these plants were established temporarily for military purposes during the great war. 1931. the Committee on "Production and Application of Light" of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. President Hoover. At these meetings resolutions were recorded. benzene.NATIONAL ACADEMY BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS VOL. Orange. carbolic acid. Posthumous Honors Shortly after Mr. concluded with the following statement: "The Committee on Production and Application of Light cannot conclude its report without allusion to the passing of the founder of the electric lighting industry. XV Chemical Manufactures In addition to factories for producing dynamos. in its annual report for 1932 {Electrical Engineering. 447-453).

303 ." The Chekoslovakian National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission transmitted the following resolution to the Central Office in London: "The Chekoslovakian Committee has the honor to present in the name of all the scientific and technical bodies in Chekoslovakia. Harper and Bros. 1931. the following proposition: 'That the name of the great American inventor Edison should be assigned to an electrotechnical unit. "Edison. Oct. Y.. the Man and his Work. A. 320 pp. Illus. 362 pp. 2 Vols. House.. Edison passes but his work goes on. Edison." Association of Edison Illuminating Companies. Christopher Pub... Knopf. 1929. Jones. C. 1931. Bryan. His Life and Inventions. "Thomas Alva Edison. A. Martin and Meadowcroft. 63 pp. Winston Co. Illus. Illus. 1928. Y.." by F. Boston. 1926.. "Recollections of Edison. 20. A." by George S.." by Dyer. Marshall. ^1929. Miller. "Thomas A. A. Illus. "Edison Honored Throughout the Entire World. J. T." Addresses delivered at the Presentation of the Congressional Medal.. T. Edison. Illus." Partial List of Edison Biographies "Edison. T..' "The Chekoslovakian Committee hopes that this motion may be accepted by all the National Committees who desire to express their gratitude to the genius of T. Crowell and Co. Sixty Years of an Inventor's Life. Benefactor of Mankind..THOMAS ALVA KDISON KENNELLY 18. "Thomas Alva Edison.. 330 pp. was the signal for an expression of world-wide appreciation of the services and of the life of the man whom electrical engineers have held in high regard by reason of his inauguration of electric light and power as a widespread service to the public. N." by D. He lives in the esteem of those who carry on under the banner which he raised. Phila. 117 pp." by F. 1931. Illus. Illus.

1889. Vol. Vol. J. 146. Houston and A. North American Review. By John Birkinbine and Thomas A. Industrial preparedness for peace. 641-650. 36. pp. 527-536. The perfected phonograph. New York. Tewksbury. Vol. 94-98. 219-230. 497.] 304 . New York. pp.. Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 115. 18. 1887. 445. [A record of questions and answers during an interview. Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. North American Review. Mass. 1916. United States Phonograph Company. p. "Mr. Edison's Researches on Roentgen Rays. N. pp. Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers. Eidson. Mass. Salem. 92-94. On the pyromagnetic dynamo: A machine for producing electricity directly from fuel. 1897. [In the interview here published. By George E. May. March. Kennelly. An interview with Mr. Salem. 27. Vol. pp. Kennelly. the editors have omitted the questions in order to present an uninterrupted narrative. June. New York. New York. Newark. pp. The concentration of iron ore. Vol. p. 17. 308. "The New Edison Storage Battery.] Scientific American. E. 1887. pp. 126. 728-744. Vol. The Electrical World. p. Vol. Vol.NATIONAL ACADEMY BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS VOL. Scientific American. Edison.. May-June. Vol. 1911." A. 1901. 105. 92 pp. New York. A complete manual of the Edison phonograph. New York. Introduction by Thomas A. 1878. 1888." E. On a magnetic bridge or balance for measuring magnetic conductivity. Personal experiences during the industrial upheaval that followed the outbreak of the war. December 2. J. pp. November 18. Edison's impressions of European industries. XV BIBLIOGRAPHY The phonograph and its future. 36. 10-12.. Edison. Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. E. 1896.

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